LOS ANGELES-“Bam Bam” Brandon Rios and Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley finally met face to face at the historic Biltmore Hotel with contracts signed, sealed and delivered on Wednesday.
Top Rank’s Bob Arum introduced the Southern California gladiators with contrasting styles in front of a large hungry media. The fight is finally going to happen on Nov. 7, at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
Palm Springs Bradley (32-1-1, 12 Kos) and Oxnard’s Rios (33-2-1, 24 Kos) have long been proposed dancing partners for years. But the pieces never fit together until now.
Bradley holds the WBO welterweight title like a dangling juicy piece of bait and the always- hungry Rios is more than willing to gobble it up. Things are changing in both training camps for this fight however. Both are training in Riverside County.
Bradley has recently changed trainers after spending the last 11 years with Joel Diaz and Antonio Diaz as his corner men. The easy-going Bradley has handed the Diaz brothers their walking papers and stated it’s not personal, but business.
Veteran trainer Teddy Atlas, the voice for ESPN boxing the past decade, has been chosen to fill the shoes as the lead trainer for Bradley. Though he has not served as trainer for a few years the man who temporarily guided heavyweights Michael Moorer, Alexander Povetkin, and light heavyweight Donny Lalonde will try welterweights. None of those were small guys like Bradley but the Palm Springs prizefighter likes what Atlas once advised him.
This past weekend Bradley was working as a TV analyst during a TruTV broadcast in Las Vegas when he talked to a couple of us reporters at the Cosmopolitan. He said Atlas told him that his approach toward opponents intending to land body shots was all wrong.
“Teddy said the book says if he goes low you go low,” said Bradley regarding opponents bending down to fire off a body shot. “I never knew that. Nobody ever told me that. Ever.”
It’s one of the reasons Bradley feels he wanted a change in trainers. He seeks to learn from a different perspective. Not, that he didn’t enjoy success with the Diaz brothers, but he seeks more knowledge.
“Teddy is going to be coming over,” said Bradley.
How will that go over?
Atlas, a native New Yorker, might find spending multiple weeks in the scorching hot desert a little too much. Temperatures average above 103 degrees this time of the year.
Rios also has a big change to endure. He is training in the much hotter climate of Riverside, Calif. After training most of his career in the Oceanside community of Oxnard, Rios will now train in Robert Garcia’s Academy in the hills of Riverside. It’s hot.
Will it affect the outcome?
Trainer Garcia moved his training headquarters from Oxnard to Riverside earlier this year and also bought a home in the Riverside area. He has a slew of prizefighters living in a compound that also boasts a large boxing gym on a two-acre property. His brother Mikey Garcia plus other fighters such as Saul “Neno” Rodriguez, and various young fighters train daily at the site.
Here comes Rios.
The hard-banging welterweight whose last fight was a one-sided blow out of Mike Alvarado has been itching for a fight. First it was supposedly against Ruslan Provodnikov, then there was Bradley and some mentioned Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. Now it’s back to Bradley and contracts have been signed and tickets are now on sale.
“When have we seen a Brandon Rios fight that was anything but exciting,” said Top Rank’s Bob Arum. “He will take the fight to Bradley.”
If you know Bradley something happens when he’s in the ring. He can’t help himself from turning up the fire, even if he’s well ahead on the score cards. Fighting comes down to the Palm Springs boxer exchanging blows.
Rios will be counting on it.
“I’ll be disciplined and ready to put on a great show,” said Rios, a former lightweight world champion.
Bradley knows what to expect.
“Brandon and his team are willing to face everybody and anybody. I know it’s going to be a challenge,” Bradley said to the media. “It’s going to be a war, man. I can’t wait.”
Tickets are now on sale.